Implementing Broadband Internet in the Classroom: Key Issues for Research and Practice

23 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2009

See all articles by Peter Birmingham

Peter Birmingham

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Chris Davies

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: January 1, 2005


This paper reports the outcome of a study into classroom uses of broadband-connected Internet in the UK. The study focuses on how some teachers and pupils made use of this new teaching and learning resource during the period of its initial introduction in one local education authority. The settings investigated consisted of a range of classrooms, from Reception through to Year 10 (ie pupils aged 5 to 15 years). In line with Woolgar's (2002: 6) observation that 'attention at the macro-level gives rather little clue as to how these technologies are actually used and experienced in every day practice', this small-scale case study focuses on the micro level of implementation, seeking to understand whether and how the positive and encouraging claims made at the levels of policy and curriculum development on behalf of broadband Internet in schools are realised when that technology is implemented in individual classrooms. Given the newness to all involved of this technology within schools, we approached our research in an extremely exploratory and open-minded way: we wished both to learn about the developing broadband-related practices of individual teachers and learners in classrooms, and we also hoped to sharpen and refine our understandings of how research should look at these issues and what questions it should be asking. We believe that the opportunity to carry out this research has opened up a number of important lines for further enquiry that should be pursued seriously and with some urgency if the full potential of this new resource is to be achieved.

Keywords: Internet, broadband, teaching, learning, technology, implementation, practice, classroom

Suggested Citation

Birmingham, Peter and Davies, Chris, Implementing Broadband Internet in the Classroom: Key Issues for Research and Practice (January 1, 2005). OII Working Paper No. 6. Available at SSRN: or

Peter Birmingham (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Chris Davies

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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